Black Friday in Rochester: Where & How Much People Are Spending

rochester, new york

The biggest holiday shopping weekend is quickly upon us. 

Whether it be Eastview Mall, the Waterloo Outlets, or skipping the lines and shopping online, there are many ways Rochester consumers will take part in Cyber Week 2022 (Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, Cyber Monday).

Our Upstate New York market research company conducted an online survey with nearly 500 Rochester residents to learn more about their shopping habits, preferences, and attitudes surrounding Thanksgiving weekend – and how it compares to our national Black Friday Survey.

Rochester Black Friday shopping statistics (editor's choice): 

40% of Rochester shoppers will spend anywhere from $200 to $599 on holiday shopping this year

People aren't scrimping this year when it comes to gifts.

While more commonly, consumers will spend $200 to $399 (20%) and $400 to $599 (20%) during Cyber Week 2022, certain shoppers in Rochester are willing to go higher. 19% of shoppers stated they $1,000 or more on holiday gifts.

On the opposite end of the spectrum, only 3% of Rochester residents will not spend money on gifts this year.

Demographic breakdown: 

  • 4% of Rochester’s baby boomers will not spend any money this holiday season. 

41% of Rochester consumers will shop online for Black Friday, while only 19% will shop in-person

The transition from in-person to online holiday shopping has been a longstanding trend for years. It should then come as no surprise that online Black Friday shopping has taken over the preferences or even the need to shop in person. 

Although this is surely the case for Rochester residents, there are stark differences compared to the national average. 

Our national survey showed that 69% of people will shop online for Black Friday 2022 and 32% will shop in person. 

Demographic breakdown:

  • 48% of Millenials and Gen Zers will shop on Small Business Saturday.
  • 42% of women plan to shop on Small Business Saturday, whereas only 24% of men will shop on this day.

Clothing, electronics, and toys will be the biggest purchases for holiday shopping in Rochester

Rochester consumers participating in Thanksgiving weekend shopping have three things on their minds: clothes, electronics, and toys.

In-person Black Friday Rochester shoppers plan to buy clothes (83%), electronics (52%), and toys (45%).

Online Black Friday Rochester shoppers plan to buy clothes (73%), electronics (58%), and toys (34%).

Cyber Monday shoppers plan to buy electronics (54%), clothes (52%), and toys (35%).

Demographic breakdown: 

  • Clothing and accessories are the top shopping choice for every age group, from boomers to Gen Zers. 
  • 100% of male holiday shoppers in Rochester will go straight to buy electronics.

Walmart (41%) and Target (39%) will be the go-to Rochester locations for in-person Black Friday

These two retail titans are the number one choice for our holiday shoppers in Rochester this year. 

The best stores to go Black Friday shopping are ones that offer a huge variety of products, as you can see displayed in the above choices and the ones we listed out below. 

Other top retail locations in Rochester included:

  • Shopping malls or centers (31%)
  • Kohls (27%)
  • Best Buy (22%)
  • Big Lots (20%)
  • Lowe's (19%)
  • TJ Maxx (19%)
  • Christmas Tree Shops (19%)
  • JCPenny (17%)
  • HomeGoods (17%)
  • Home Depot (15%)

Demographic breakdown: 

  • While Walmart was the number one choice for Boomers and Gen Xers, Millennials and younger chose Target as their top pick.
  • Only 39% of women will go to Walmart on Black Friday, while 70% of men will frequent the store. 

40% of holiday shoppers will frequent Roc’s finest this holiday season, Eastview Mall

When asked what local Rochester retail locations shoppers will visit this holiday season, 40% stated Eastview Mall.

Eastview was the clear winner for this section. With 170 stores, the mall offers a huge variety of shopping options for consumers -- especially during the holidays. 

Other popular Rochester-based retail locations consumers will visit for holiday shopping include:

  • The Mall at Greece Ridge Center (31%)
  • Marketplace Mall (13%)
  • Waterloo Premium Outlets (11%)

Demographic breakdown:

  • Eastview Mall was the top choice across all age groups for holiday shopping in Rochester. Coming in at a close second was the Mall at Greece Ridge Center.

Rochester consumers will online shop on Amazon the most during Cyber Week 

62% of online Black Friday and Cyber Monday shoppers in Rochester will be heading to Amazon to make holiday purchases. 

Our online survey company found that Walmart (36%) and Target (33%) will be other popular options for online shopping as well.

Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday tie for the most popular Cyber Week shopping days in Rochester

The Rochester community seems to be a strong proponent of shopping locally and supporting small businesses this holiday season -- with 37% of people planning to shop on Small Business Saturday. This percentage matches Cyber Monday 2022 shoppers.

Interestingly enough, Rochester shoppers have less of an interest in Cyber Monday when compared to the national average. 

Our national holiday shopping survey showed that 64% of people will shop on Cyber Monday 2022, while 36% of shoppers will support Small Business Saturday.

As for what people will be buying on Small Business Saturday, arts and crafts (58%), clothes (50%), and books (39%) were the most common responses from Rochester shoppers.

Demographic breakdown: 

  • Buying arts and crafts items for Small Business Saturday will be the top choice for Boomers, Gen Xers, Millennials, and Gen Zers.
  • Non-binary shoppers are most likely to gravitate towards health and beauty items on Small Business Saturday. 
  • National shoppers will be targeting clothing and accessories on Small Business Saturday at 47%. 

3 in 4 Rochester shoppers will wait no more than 30 minutes to enter a store on Black Friday (76%)

You have places to go, right? More than three-quarters of Rochester shoppers are saying no to waiting in lines for over 30 minutes. 

Only 14% of shoppers in Rochester will wait for 30 minutes to an hour, and even fewer will stay for 1 to 2 hours (8%).

Demographic breakdown:

  • Millennials and Gen Zers are the only holiday shoppers willing to wait in Black Friday lines for over 2 hours. 
  • Women are the least likely to wait in long Black Friday lines. 80% are done before a 30-minute wait. 

71% of Rochester shoppers will wait no more than 30-minutes in a checkout line on Black Friday

Similarly to waiting in line to enter a store, Rochester consumers aren't willing to spend their Black Friday waiting in checkout lines. With many of the same deals being available online, it seems silly to do so. 

71% of Rochester shoppers will wait no more than 30-minutes in a checkout line, while 20% will wait 30 minutes to an hour, and even fewer will wait for 1 to 2 hours (6%).

Demographic breakdown: 

  • 44% of shoppers across the US will wait less than 30 minutes in a Black Friday checkout line. 
  • 4% of Boomers will wait in checkout lines for over 2 hours.

1 in 4 Rochester residents will hit the stores between 5 AM and 10 AM on Black Friday 2022

Gone are the days people are rushing through their Thanksgiving dinners to hit the stores at midnight. 

In 2022, 25% of Rochester consumers will start their Black Friday shopping on Thursday, while 18% will start their Thanksgiving weekend shopping on Friday between 12 AM and 5 AM.          

More commonly, 25% of Rochester shoppers will start between 5 AM and 10 AM, 25% will start Friday between 10 AM and 2 PM, and fewer will start after 2 PM (8%).

Demographic breakdown:

  • 45% of Rochester residents will shop from 5 AM to 2 PM. 
  • Men are the most likely to get a head-start shopping on Black Friday, with 50% hitting up the stores from 12 AM to 5 AM. 

30% of Rochester consumers wait to finish their Christmas shopping until the week of

What's holiday shopping without procrastination and chaos?

Our Rochester market research company found that 44% of local shoppers will finish gift buying by early to mid-December and 30% will finish the week leading up to December 25th.

17% of shoppers in Rochester will finish their holiday shopping after Thanksgiving weekend, while 9% get all their gifts purchased before Thanksgiving.

These people are the real MVPs, huh? 

Demographic breakdown:

  • Nearly half of Rochester Boomers have their shopping done by mid-December at 46%. 
  • Those of other genders are the most likely to wait until the week leading up to Christmas to purchase all their gifts. 

45% of ROC shoppers are more likely to shop at stores that offer ‘buy online, pick up in-store” capabilities

Buy online, pick up in-store (BOPUS) is the greatest retail trend to evolve in years -- and one that has only skyrocketed since COVID-19.

It allows consumers to shop and purchase items online, then hours later have their order ready for pick-up at the store. It combines the comfort of shopping from home, without having to wait for long delivery times or delays. 

It's all about convenience and time savings for today’s buyers.

Retail locations in Rochester that offer BOPUS for their Black Friday weekend deals are likely to see more sales when compared to locations that don’t offer in-store pickup.

In fact, our survey found that 45% of Rochester shoppers agree they are more likely to shop at stores that offer 'buy online, pick up in store' capabilities this Black Friday.

Demographic breakdown:

  • 62% of Millenial and Gen Z ROC shoppers are strongly or somewhat willing to buy online and pick up in-store. 
  • 15% of national shoppers are strongly or somewhat unwilling to buy online and pick up in-store.

Most of our Rochester holiday shoppers believe retail sites should be closed on turkey day at 83%

Recently, it was announced that 30 popular stores will be closing for Turkey Day across the nation. It seems that Rochester consumers support this decision with the strong majority agreeing retail locations should remain closed on Thanksgiving (83%)

Only 4% of our Rochester respondents strongly or somewhat disagree with stores closing on Thanksgiving. 

Demographic breakdown:

  • 85% of Boomers in Rochester either strongly or somewhat agree that retail locations should be closed on the big day. 
  • 8% of national shoppers strongly or somewhat disagree with stores closing on Thanksgiving. 

31% of Rochester residents will have fun at this year’s Roc Holiday Village

We can tell Rochester is no stranger to festive fun, so put down your Black Friday shopping list for a second!

While Roc Holiday Village was the preference for the majority of our shoppers, there were others:

  • Genesee Keg Tree Lighting: 13%
  • Genesee County Village & Museum’s Yuletide in The Country Tours: 13%
  • Geva Theatre Center’s A Christmas Carol: 12%
  • Lighting of the Liberty Pole: 12%
  • Sweet Creations Gingerbread House Display: 12%

Demographic breakdown:

  • Millennials and Gen Zers were the largest age group to attend Roc Holiday Village at 52%.

About the Survey

Survey Methodology 

  • The survey received 478 responses
  • Fieldwork was conducted with adult residents (18 years or older) in the Rochester, NY area
  • Survey fieldwork began on October 7th and lasted until October 17th

Respondent Profile (By Gender)

  • 66% of respondents were male 
  • 27% of respondents were female 
  • 1% of respondents were non-binary

Respondent Profile (By Age)

  • 2% of respondents were Gen Z
  • 9% of respondents were Millennials
  • 19% of respondents were Gen X
  • 62% of respondents were Baby Boomers
  • 8% of respondents were Silent Generation

Contact Our Upstate NY Market Research Company

Black Friday in Rochester, and Cyber Week in general, is the pinnacle of America’s holiday shopping season. Now that you have the inside scoop, prepare accordingly!

Drive Research is a market research company based in New York. Our team is ready to partner with yours to generate insightful feedback to promote your business. 

If you’d like to learn more about our market research services, contact us through any of the ways below.

  1. Message us on our website
  2. Email us at [email protected]
  3. Call us at 888-725-DATA
  4. Text us at 315-303-2040


Lark Allen

As a Content Marketing Specialist, Lark has a strong background and passion for creative, professional, and journalistic writing. She is also a self-proclaimed music freak and 90s enthusiast.

Learn more about Lark, here.

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